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Conceptual Details

Design Goals

We defined design goals which describe how the different aspects of the framework should be designed in order to support creativity as much as possible.

Designed for Long Term Use: Most ideas don’t happen in an instant. They start as hunches and need to be grown and nurtured. This is a process that takes time.

Encouraging Speculation: Trying out many things increases the chance of finding the right thing. Most ideas don’t appear finished, continuously iterating them in an evolutionary style is necessary to improve their quality.

Creating and Retrieving in One Place: Creating, editing, organizing and retrieving should happen in one place to lower the friction of the creative process.

Creating Artifacts from Knowledge

Quick: Users should collect as much of their knowledge as possible in the form of information. To foster this the creation of artifacts needs to be quick and seamless.

Appropriate: To collect as much of the knowledge as possible the form of the information has to be appropriate for the knowledge and its context.

Build for Knowledge Retrieval: Artifacts should be constructed in a way that is rich in remembrance and contains as much knowledge as possible.

Immediate: Immediate creation of artifacts can enable an internal feedback loop, where the act of creation becomes the act of understanding and iterating on an idea.

Inter-operational and Open: In the mind, all knowledge is created equal. Different kinds of artifacts need to be able to be combined and connected, so that creativity is not inhibited by technical barriers.

Extendable: New ways of expressing knowledge (like new systems of notation) allow for new ways of thinking. An extendable system can be fitted to the user’s need, allowing more complex modes of representation.

Stimulating: Stimulating the user in order to support divergent thinking increases creativity by helping to overcome barriers.

Augmenting: The computer cannot just display the user’s input, but also react to it and augment it, for example through computation based on mathematical models.

Collecting, Organizing and Finding Artifacts

Based on the Mind: Forcing a rigid structure based on technical principles and limitations rather than one that resembles the structure of the mind thwarts creativity.

Loose Connections: Less efficient and less rigid networks based on loose connections between pieces of information enhance the bisociation process by turning up unexpected connections.

Effortless: The purpose of the system is to help the user think. Organizing is necessary for the information to be usable, but are only a means to an end and should take up as little time and effort as possible.

Help Making up for a Bad Index: The mental index is unreliable and error-prone: Users forget about information they saved. The system needs to reckon with this and try and make up for a decaying index.

Retrieving Knowledge from Artifacts

Quick and Easy: The retrieval of knowledge is just a means to an end and should take little time and mental effort.

Enhancing: Enhancing the user’s input with additional information makes it more helpful and complete and makes for a better understanding of the information.

Supporting Diverse Views: By showing related artifacts that the user might have forgotten, the available knowledge in the mind can be maximized and the chance of bisociation increased.

Help Rebuilding the Index: The mental index decays over time. Since it is the best and fastest way of finding information, maintaining it is part of the system’s purpose.


Encourage Sharing: Sharing ideas and information helps to improve the quality of the ideas by offering different points of view and developing them further.

Easy Collaboration: Working on an idea together should be easy and not require any additional steps.

Easy Feedback: Receiving feedback should be effortless and fast. The quality of the feedback should be as high as possible, making acting on it easy.

Contextful Sharing: More context helps the person giving feedback to retrieve more knowledge and therefore improves the quality of their feedback.